Billie Joe Armstrong said it best, “No racism, no sexism, no fascism, no homophobia…tonight is about freedom!”
And free we were, to dance, to sing and to love whoever we wanted, as Green Day was back in Toronto on August 18th at the Budweiser Stage, to spread their message to the people: Whoever you are, you belong.
Catfish & the Bottlemen kicked off the night for the diehards in attendance. The Bottlemen continue to impress me with their diverse array of music and the passionate performances that they give time after time. They really leave it all on the floor and hold nothing back from the audience. Punching out hits like “Soundcheck” and “7”, off of their sophomore album, The Ride. With a lot of traction from last year’s release, this is surely a band to be on the watch for their next album.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Once Catfish and the Bottlemen had successfully revved up the crowd, it was time for the real revolution to begin…with a “Bang Bang”!
Green Day had all their guns, and flamethrowers blazing at the Budweiser Stage. From “Know Your Enemy” off the top, to “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” in the second encore, you always had to be on edge for an explosion of sorts, whether it be music or fireballs. A really cool moment came during “Know Your Enemy”, where one fan got to sing with Billie Joe and then stage dive right during the climax of the bridge! Billie Joe Armstrong was leading the charge all night, as he proclaimed, “Put your phones away, you don’t want to miss this moment. We are going to sing together, we are going to dance together, we are going to cry together. This ain’t no political party, this is a celebration!”
For a band that has been spreading that message for over 30 years now, you would think that they would be pretty frustrated that their words haven’t penetrated the political system yet, but they know that to change the world you have to build from the ground up. The overall message, and feeling, of the show was that of compassion, love, and acceptance. Even though we are faced with diversity and division every day, it was the music that brought us all together, and Green Day, it’s facilitator.
To be honest, I wrote that last line when they came through Hamilton in March, but it still holds true to their performance on August 18th, as much as it has the past 30+ years. Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre are here to say “you belong”, no matter who you are or where you came from or what you believe. Green Day has been carrying the flag of the people since 1986, let’s hope they can help us carry it through the next 3 years and beyond.